The 7 best affordable Komodo liveaboards

The best budget liveaboard Komodo

Komodo, Indonesia is one of the worlds most famous dive destinations. The name Komodo conjures up thoughts of dragons and lizards, which is because of the Komodo Dragons.

But Komodo diving is probably best known for its scuba diving with manta rays. The best way to dive the best dive spots in Komodo is on a liveaboard boat. But you really need to go for a minimum of 3 days diving, although 7 days diving is better. But what about budget liveaboards to scuba dive Komodo?


Experience the majestic mantas and stunning sea life, along with Komodo Dragons on a budget. Here's the 7 best budget Komodo liveaboards:

  1. The Dragon Dive Komodo Liveaboard for 14 guests;
  2. The Empress II Liveaboard for 10 guests;
  3. Indonesian Jaya Liveaboard for 14 guests;
  4. Akomo Isseki Liveaboard for 8 guests;
  5. Ratu Pelangi Liveaboard for 14 guests;
  6. Royal Fortuna Indonesian Liveaboard for 11 guests;
  7. Komodo Shalom liveaboard for 16 guests.

The best budget liveaboards Komodo - a selection of affordable liveaboards

If you're going to get the best out of scuba diving the Komodo Islands, you are better off to dive Komodo from a liveaboard. By scuba diving from a liveaboard you're able to reach the more distant dive sites that aren’t accessible from the main land.

Scuba dive Komodo and experience the magnificent manta rays, but not only mantas, you'll see an abundance of coral marine life too.

With this said, let's take a look at a few affordable Komodo liveaboards to make your diver spending budget go further. This is your chance to dive off the beaten track and explore untouched beauty, but on a budget that shouldn't break the bank.

1. The Dragon Dive Komodo Liveaboard - 8.9, Fabulous, 4.5 stars out of 5

Dragon Dive Komodo - The best budget liveaboards Komodo
Dragon Dive Komodo - The best budget liveaboards Komodo - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

Dragon Dive Komodo Liveaboard Summary:

  • Max 14 guests.
  • 4 cabins, 2 dorms for 4 guests, 1 deluxe for 2 and a suite for 4.
  • Cabins are air conditioned.
  • 4 bathrooms.
  • Length - 24 metre (79 feet) Indonesian Phinisi sail boat.
  • DIN Adapters - Yes.
  • Nitrox - No.

Dragon Dive Komodo liveaboard detail

Dragon Dive Komodo Liveaboard caters to 14 guests. The Dragon Dive Komodo liveaboard offers dive trips to Komodo National Park. If you're on a budget there are shorter dive trips, which makes it cheaper to scuba dive Komodo. The cabins on the Dragon Dive Komodo includes two dorms each with 4 single beds, but if you have a slightly higher budget, there is one deluxe cabin for 2 guests and a suite for up to 4 guests, which is suitable for families.

Dragon Dive Komodo is a 24 metre (79 feet) traditional Wooden Phinisi. She was built in 2017 and has all modern facilities. For example, all the cabins are fully air-conditioned with private en-suite bathrooms.

There is also a sun deck which has loungers and hammocks to relax in-between dives.

The covered outdoor lounge is an ideal place to unwind with a cold drink at the end of the day. Tasty meals of freshly prepared Indonesian and international cuisine is served at the open-air dining area.

Komodo liveaboard 3 days 2 nights

Depending on your budget there should be a dive itinerary to suite. If you can only afford a 2 night 3 day liveaboard trip, this is catered for, along with 3 nights and 4 day trips too.

On board the are DIN adapters, rebreather support, side-mount diving and free WIFI. Plus there's scuba gear rental too available.

The Dragon Dive Komodo Liveaboard explores the north, central some of the remote and pristine areas of South Komodo. But all tours include trekking in Rinca, which where you'll see the Komodo Dragons. There is an on board naturalist to give advise and guidance on the areas you dive and on the island trek too.

Click here to find the latest prices and more details for scuba diving on the Dragon Dive Komodo Liveaboard.

Dragon Dive Komodo Liveaboard review

Dragon Dive Komodo liveaboard - the best cheap Komodo liveaboard
Dragon Dive Komodo liveaboard - the best cheap Komodo liveaboard - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

A lifetime memory. "We saw many Mantas, sharks , turtles, even Dugong!! Me and the cozy bean bags became very close friends since the first day. Usually i get sea sickness easily but this time I didn't take any medicine. The wave wasn't too high and wind wasn't strong either." Recommended for Very friendly crew, excellent diving sites, cozy bean bags. Wen L China - 9.6 out of 10 Exceptional, 5 stars out of 5.

Absolutely exceeded all expectations! "Dive sites were incredible! Komodo national park definitely lives up to its name. My guide, Phil, was professional and knowledgeable and always enthusiastic about the upcoming dive. The food was absolutely delicious and plentiful and the boat was clean and so comfortable. The staff were so friendly and smiling. Super happy I went, thank you:)" Recommended for The dive sites, my guide, Delicious food. Yardena K Belgium - 10 out of 10, Exceptional, 5 stars our of 5.

2. The Empress II Liveaboard - 9.1 out of 10, Superb, 4.5 stars out of 5

Empress II Liveaboard - The best budget liveaboards Komodo Indonesia
Empress II Liveaboard - The best budget liveaboards Komodo Indonesia - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

Empress II Liveaboard Summary:

  • Max 10 guests.
  • 4 cabins, 3 twins, 1 single.
  • Cabins are air conditioned.
  • 3 bathrooms.
  • Length - 81 metre (267 feet) steel hulled boat
  • DIN Adapters - Yes.
  • Nitrox - Yes.

Empress II liveaboard detail

The Empress II Liveaboard is an 81 metre (267 feet) steel hulled liveaboard boat. You can explore and dive both Komodo and Raja Ampat on the Empress II liveaboard.

Designed to accommodate up to 10 guests across 4 cabins. These are arranged as 3 twin cabins and 1 single cabin. All cabins have air conditioning and portholes. But you will have to share the bathrooms and showers.

For your comfort in-between dives there are two sun decks where there are beanbags and comfortable mattresses.

Nitrox is available on board, but this must be ordered in advance of your trip. There is also rebreather support and DIN adapters, plus scuba equipment rental. But also for those that like to have it easy getting in and out of the water, there's also an electric lift too.

Click here to find the latest prices and more details for scuba diving on the Empress II Liveaboard.

Empress II Liveaboard review

Empress II Liveaboard - The best budget liveaboards Komodo
Empress II Liveaboard - The best budget liveaboards Komodo - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

Cheap and good diving experience. "Learning more diving techniques from the experienced dive guides. The chill and welcoming environment throughout the trip. Fantastic food." Recommended for The people, food, diving. Pui Hay Y, Singapore - 10 out of 10, Exceptional and 5 stars out of 5.

Brilliant experience, everything was perfect. "Scenery, crew on board, food was awesome, diving guidance and Professionalism of the whole operation. Great value." Recommended for Great diving, excellent locations, well run boat. Mark T, Australia - 10 out of 10, Exceptional, 5 stars out of 5.

3. The Indonesian Jaya Liveaboard - 8.8 out of 10, Fabulous and 4.5 stars out of 5

Jaya Liveaboard - Budget Komodo liveaboard diving
Jaya Liveaboard - Budget Komodo liveaboard diving - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

Jaya Liveaboard Summary:

  • Max 14 guests.
  • 6 cabins, 4 twins, 2 triples.
  • Cabins are air conditioned.
  • 3 bathrooms.
  • Length - 23 metre (75.5 feet) Indonesian Phinisi sail boat.
  • DIN Adapters - Yes.
  • Nitrox - No.

Jaya liveaboard in detail

The Jaya is another Indonesian wooden Phinisi liveaboard. This stunning liveaboard sailboat offers dive trips to Komodo and to Raja Ampat too. Liveaboard diving Komodo is from late June to late September, whereas Raja Ampat is from November through to May.

The Jaya is 23 metres (75.5 feet) in length and caters for up to 14 guests. This number of guests are spread across just 6 cabins, which is how it becomes a more affordable Komodo liveaboard.

The cabins are split between 4 twins and 2 triples, with each cabin having air conditioning to keep you cool over night. There are three on board bathrooms to share between guests. There are shaded areas on the upper deck and you can slump in bean bags to relax and unwind reading a book or enjoying the scenery.

As with the other Komodo liveaboard diving trips, the itinerary includes trekking Rinca to see the Komodo Dragons.

There are DIN adapters on board and you can hire diving equipment too.

Click here to find the latest prices and more details for scuba diving on the Indonesian Jaya Liveaboard.

Jaya liveaboard reviews

Jaya liveaboard reviews - budget liveaboard Komodo Indonesia
Jaya liveaboard reviews - budget liveaboard Komodo Indonesia - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

Great Trip. "Great dive guides showed us in small groups the different reefs. Everything very professional prepared and super friendly staff." Recommended for Dive Guides, Organisation, Food. Eva S Germany, 9.2 out of 10, Superb and 4.5 stars out of 5.

Amazing adventure of a lifetime. "The whole trip was amazing ... from the gorgeous boat Jaya, the amazing professionalism and friendliness of the crew and of course the incredible locations we traveled to. The diving was some of the best I've experienced with such a variety of marine life, the live corals, multitude of species we saw ... just mindblowing ... the boat itself was a joy to travel on ... the Indonesian Phinsies are reminiscent of the olde world sailing ships ... just awesome ... we are planning to head back to meet the boat to dive Raja Ampat in future." Recommended for The diving, the crew and the food. AJ R New Zealand, 10 out of 10, Exceptional, 5 stars out of 5.

4. The Akomo Isseki Liveaboard - 9.2, Superb and 4.5 stars out of 5

The Akomo Isseki Liveaboard - the best budget diving liveaboards Komodo Indonesia
The Akomo Isseki Liveaboard - the best budget diving liveaboards Komodo Indonesia - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

Akomo Isseki Liveaboard Summary:

  • Max 8 guests.
  • 4 cabins with twin beds.
  • Cabins are naturally vented (i.e. no A/C).
  • 4 bathrooms.
  • Length - 27 metre (88.5 feet) Indonesian Phinisi sail boat.
  • DIN Adapters - Yes.
  • Nitrox - No.

Akomo Isseki liveaboard in detail

The Akomo Isseki liveaboard is another traditional wooden Phinisi boat. She is another of the Indonesian liveaboards that offers diving trips to both Raja Ampat and Komodo National Park.

The 4 cabins are naturally vented so there's no air conditioning on board. Catering for up to 8 guests who share these 4 cabins in twin beds. There are 4 shared bathroom on board too.

Areas to enjoy in-between dives include a communal dining area and a large partially covered sun deck. Relax on beanbags and a hammock to take in the beautiful scenery and read a book.

Meals include either Indonesian or Western style meals, together with beach BBQ's. In-between dives you'll have the opportunity to kayak or snorkeling.

There are DIN adapters on board as well as the opportunity to rent scuba equipment too.

Click here to find the latest prices and more details for scuba diving on the Akomo Isseki Liveaboard.

Review of Akomo Isseki liveaboard

Review of Akomo Isseki liveaboard - best budget Indonesian liveaboard in Komodo
Review of Akomo Isseki liveaboard - best budget Indonesian liveaboard in Komodo - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

Exceptional and beyond my expectations. "Staring into the souls of mantas The guests, the guides, and the crew Getting inked by a squid." Recommended for The diving, the people, and the games. Ling C, United States, 9.2 out of 10, Superb and 4.5 stars out of 5.

5. The Ratu Pelangi Liveaboard - 9.3 out of 10, Superb and 4.5 stars out of 5

The Ratu Pelangi Liveaboard - the best affordable Komodo diving liveaboards
The Ratu Pelangi Liveaboard - the best affordable Komodo diving liveaboards - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

Ratu Pelangi Liveaboard Summary:

  • Max 14 guests.
  • Cabins are either quad or twin accommodation.
  • Cabins are air conditioned.
  • 4 bathrooms.
  • Length - 30 metre (100 feet) Indonesian Phinisi sail boat.
  • DIN Adapters - Yes.
  • Nitrox - Yes.

Ratu Pelangi liveaboard in detail

This Indonesian liveaboard was completely renovated in 2018. The Ratu Pelangi is a 30 metre (100 feet) Indonesia Phinisi sail boat offering modern comfort and safety.

The Ratu Pelangi caters for up to a maximum of 14 guests in a choice of quad or twin bunk cabins. All the bedrooms are equipped with air conditioning.

The upper deck is spacious and has a covered dining area. There is also a wrap-around sofa under cover or if you prefer to sun bathe, there is a sun deck with loungers and bean bags to enjoy too.

On board are DIN adapters, nitrox and scuba gear rentals.

Click here to find the latest prices and more details for scuba diving on the Ratu Pelangi Liveaboard.

Review of the Ratu Pelangi liveaboard

Review of the Ratu Pelangi liveaboard - best budget diving liveaboard Komodo
Review of the Ratu Pelangi liveaboard - best budget diving liveaboard Komodo - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

The best part of my month in Indonesia. "Batu Balong - Manta rays - Dragons - Flying Foxes - Volcanos - Beautiful sunsets" Recommended for The dive sites are absolutely unbelievable, the food was always delicious and plenty of it, the value for money. Jacob B New Zealand, 9.6 out of 10, Exceptional, 5 stars out of 5.

6. Royal Fortuna Indonesian Liveaboard

Royal Fortuna Indonesian Liveaboard - affordable Komodo diving liveaboard
Royal Fortuna Indonesian Liveaboard - affordable Komodo diving liveaboard - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

Royal Fortuna Liveaboard Summary:

  • Max 11 guests.
  • 5 cabins.
  • Cabins are not air conditioned - fans only.
  • 2 bathrooms.
  • Length - 29 metre (95 feet) Indonesian Phinisi sail boat.
  • DIN Adapters - No.
  • Nitrox - No.

Ratu Pelangi liveaboard in detail

The Royal Fortuna Liveaboard is a 29 metre (95 feet) dive boat. She is also an Indonesian Phinisi sail boat and has been designed to access places that larger boats cannot visit.

The Royal Fortuna caters to 11 guests, so in one of the smaller Komodo liveaboard for diving. These guests are housed across 5 cabins, which are split across two decks. The cabins are quite large, but the share two bathrooms. They are cooled by fans and not air conditioning.

The Royal Fortuna Liveaboard has a sundeck which has loungers for relaxing in-between dives. There is the chance to dine either inside or al fresco on the panoramic dining area.

On each liveaboard trip there's the opportunity to dive and to trek to see Komodo Dragons at Rinca. Liveaboard trips are either 3, 4 or 5 days in length and explore both Flores and the Komodo National Park.

The Royal Fortuna liveaboard is ideal for families and small groups who are on a budget.

Click here to find the latest prices and more details for scuba diving on the Royal Fortuna Liveaboard.

7. Komodo Shalom liveaboard - 9.4 out of 10, Superb, 4.5 stars out of 5

Komodo Shalom liveaboard - affordable diving liveaboards Komodo
Komodo Shalom liveaboard - affordable diving liveaboards Komodo - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

Komodo Shalom Liveaboard Summary:

  • Max 16 guests.
  • 5 cabins, 4 twins and 1 8-berth cabin.
  • Cabins air conditioned.
  • 3 bathrooms.
  • Length - 24 metre (79 feet) Indonesian Phinisi sail boat.
  • DIN Adapters - Yes.
  • Nitrox - No.

Komodo Shalom liveaboard in detail

This is another budget conscious liveaboard dive boat. Experience Komodo on board the Komodo Shalom liveaboard.

The Komodo Shalom is also an Indonesian Phinisi sail boat. She offers liveaboard dive trips of between 3 to 6-nights long, with 4 to 7 days of scuba diving. This Komodo liveaboard departs from Labuan Bajo and like the other Komodo trips, you'll get the chance of a trek to see Komodo Dragons too.

The Komodo Shalom liveaboard caters for up to 16 divers. These are catered across 5 cabins in total. There are 4 twin-berth cabins and 1 large eight-berth dorm. These cabins share 3 bathrooms, which all have hot showers.

The beds are designed as a 'pod', which are actually bunk beds with personal privacy which is provided by a curtain. All cabins are air conditioned and all have sea views.

This liveaboard has a large dining area, plus a shaded outdoor lounge and sun deck located on the roof for relaxing in-between dives.

Click here to find the latest prices and more details for scuba diving on the Komodo Shalom Liveaboard.

Reviews of the Komodo Shalom liveaboard

Reviews of the Komodo Shalom liveaboard - best budget Komodo diving liveaboard
Reviews of the Komodo Shalom liveaboard - best budget Komodo diving liveaboard - image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

Excellent trip! "Seeing the Manta's, Eagle Rays & turtles lots of sharks too!" Recommended for Friendly crew and guests, fabulous diving, lots of sharks, turtles and even a few Manta Rays! Mandy A, United Kingdom - 9.6 out of 10, Exceptional, 5 stars out of 5.

Awesome trip. "I’ve been on 4 lives boards now, and this has been the best one. It’s advertised as a budget trip, but the boat is quite comfortable and the food is good. The dive masters and other crew were fantastic. The dive sites are some of the best in the world." Recommended for Dive sites, crew, mantas. Lindsey D, United States, 9.6 out of 10, Exceptional, 5 stars out of 5.

Sea live around the Indonesian waters

If you're keen to dive with mantas, Karang Makassar dive site is where you'll get up close with schools of Manta Rays. Here's a selection of underwater sea creatures you see when you scuba dive Komodo.

  • Manta rays.
  • Eagle rays.
  • Spotted sting rays.
  • Whitetip reef sharks.
  • Blacktip reef sharks.
  • Wobbegong sharks.
  • Bumphead parrot fish.
  • Pygmy seahorses.
  • Moray eels.
  • Great Barracuda.
  • Giant Trevally.
  • Napoleon wrasse.
  • Many varieties of reef fish.
  • Turtles.
  • Mandarin fish.
  • Nudibranchs.
  • Humpback whales.
  • Dugongs.
  • Blue whales are occasionally spotted.

Best time to dive in Komodo Island

Scuba Diving the Komodo marine reserve can be done year round. But as with all dive spots, there are better times to visit. The best diving conditions are between March to October each year.

But the best season to see plenty of the magnificent manta rays is during the rainy season. The rainy season in Indonesia and Komodo runs from December to February.

If you're looking for the best underwater visibility, it is best to dive from November through to January. But be aware that between January to March the seas can be a bit choppy at times.

I hope you enjoyed this article about the best budget liveaboards Komodo

I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof Gopro’s!

If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or scuba diving (or specifically about the best budget liveaboards Komodo), please comment below with your questions.

There will also be many more articles about scuba diving (and snorkeling) for you to read and learn about these fabulous sports.

Have fun and be safe!


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